The Opioid Crisis Is Such A Widespread American Problem Even ‘Sesame Street’ Is Tackling It

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Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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“Sesame Street” will introduce kids to the term addiction, as a character brought on in May who lives in Foster Care, explains the reason is because her mom’s going through a “tough time.”

In a clip posted on YouTube, the muppet named Karli, 6, speaks to a 10-year-old human girl named Salia Woodbury, as the two talk about how they share a similar experience due to their parents’ battle with opioid addition, according to Deadline in a piece published Thursday. (RELATED: Melania Trump Challenges Media To Cover Opioid Crisis Over ‘Idle Gossip’)


“Both our parents have had the same problem, addiction,” Karli says to the camera. (RELATED: New Sesame Street Puppet Has A Father In Prison)

“My mom and dad told me that addiction is a sickness,” Salia replied.

“Oh, yeah, yeah,” says Karli. “A sickness that makes a person feel like they have to take drugs or drink alcohol to feel okay.”

“My mom’s been going through a tough time,” Karli explained to “Today” about her part. “She has what’s called a grown-up problem. And grown-up problems need grown-ups to help fix the problem, so my mom had to go away for a little while.”

“What Karli does is she helps bring to life an issue that a lot of people think of as a grown-up issue, and don’t understand the impact on young children,” Sherrie Westin, president of social impact and philanthropy of the Sesame Workshop, shared with the outlet.

“When you understand the impact it has on young children, and the trauma that it can cause, the impact that has on their healthy development, you realize why it’s so important that we’re creating tools to help address these issues,” she added.

For now, Karli won’t appear on the TV show, and will only be part of the company’s online initiative, called “Sesame Street in Communities.”